Recovery is one of the most rewarding things one can experience in life. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s a rich but sometimes uneven journey, one that can easily cultivate misconceptions along the way—from both people in recovery and from those around them.
One such misconception revolves around the idea of loss and limitation; that things from pre-recovery life are now off-limits, like parties, other social events, and your old friends. While you may experience weddings, concerts, and ballgames differently, that doesn’t mean giving them up. You may even have a more fulfilling experience now that the event doesn’t revolve around drugs or alcohol.
Your previous friendships might change—or not—depending on their nature in the first place. You may realize that some friends were really drinking buddies, and other friendships—old and new—will even strengthen through recovery. You might even wind up influencing and inspiring others to change the way they live their own lives.
Speaking of loved ones, they might have a misconception that they can’t go anywhere with you that might trigger your issues. Depending on the person or the amount of time that they’ve been in recovery, that may be true. But if it’s not, it can be liberating to have a conversation ahead of a social occasion to let them know if you’re comfortable going or not, or even that you may need to leave if it does prove to be too much. That in itself can break the misconception that your leaving has to do with them, and not simply what’s best for you and your recovery.
A significant misconception of recovery in general is that it’s all about recovery and all misery, all the time. The truth is, recovery is about solutions, not problems. It’s about showing up and experiencing joy, not about dwelling on misery or the past. It’s about setting healthy boundaries that rather than constricting you, actually free you to live your best life. And it’s about finding the real you, the one experiencing life instead of numbing it.
If you know someone who holds any misconceptions about recovery, check out series 6, episode 2 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers breaking those misconceptions.
Download “Breaking Misconceptions” series 6, episode 2, HERE.